By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Please be advised that I occasionally do work for and with the subject of today’s Check It Out, COMSOL Inc. Indirectly, technically, or if you just want to ralph on me, you can say that they are paying me for this message because they paid DE to sponsor this informational mailing. DE pays me an honorarium for writing one of these things whether it is sponsored or not.
Anyway, what’s this about? Today’s Check It Out read is a small (11-page) e-book called the “Manager’s Guide to Productivity Gains with Multiphysics Simulation Part II: Speed Innovation & Reduce Costs.” It’s actually something that ran in NASA Tech Briefs, Linda Bell’s fine publication, a while back. (No. I do not do any work for NTB.) It’s pretty good stuff.
This is a collection of articles discussing how the deployment of the COMSOL Multiphysics simulation environment has changed design engineering for the better at a number of joints – GM, OSRAM Sylvania, and Procter & Gamble being the household names among them. All your buzz phrases are here, such as innovate better products, tighten design-analysis cycles, and compress time to market. Don’t let that give you the woollies. The kicker here is that almost all of these articles are written by the people who did the work. So, they are not those gushy things that you run into now and then.
They’re not heavy-duty technical either. But what makes them good is that they are straightforward, engineer-approved accounts of how COMSOL Multiphysics is used and what achievements COMSOL has enabled. It’s almost as if these people were in front of a room of clueless honchos — spreadsheet-watchers, marketing cheerleaders, and sales poobahs — explaining why this system is important to them. Which, as you can deduce from the title, is the the intent here.
And, you know what? Straightforward works. Even the most jaded engineer will get something out of this e-book, especially if you’ve wondered what the heck COMSOL Multiphysics is about. This means that you get, for example, one guy saying matter-of-factly that COMSOL has saved them weeks of time. Another blandly reports finding the critical parameters he needed would have taken longer and cost 20 times more without COMSOL.
I’m running out of space, so briefly: Check out the opening article. It has a discussion on the difference between simulation-driven design and simulation-assisted design that is worth the price of admission alone. Your bosses will never get the idea if this article doesn’t explain it. Also of note is the article about microwaving moon dust as well as the one on modeling loudspeakers.
So, there you have it. A bunch of articles that you can describe as the engineer’s sitting ovation over COMSOL Multiphysics: Lots of facts laid out on the table and almost no hype. Hit the link over there and give it a read. A great way to spend a few minutes.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering